I never expected to be in this predicament – former president Banda

Ex-Zambian leader this morning told BBC News Day programme monitored by Zambian Eye that he never expected to find himself in the predicament he is after handing over power in 2011 elections to his rival Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front.

Banda was responding to a question by BBC’s Lawrence Pollard in a telephone interview from London on whether it had become a trend for every Zambian president to prosecute his predecessor.

The fourth Zambian leader was recently stripped of his immunity from prosecution by the Sata regime after it accused him of allegations of abuse of office involving millions of US dollars. He has since been arrested and is under trial on two cases in the Lusaka Magistrate Courts.

But Banda told BBC that he has confidence  in the Zambian judicial system adding that he was hopeful that his innocence will eventually be established by the Courts of law.

The former president said the fact that he has availed himself to the courts is a pointer to his confidence in their ability to dispense justice fairly.  President Banda said that as a law-abiding citizen, he had a duty to submit himself to the justice system when required to do so.

“Like I said from the very beginning, I am confident in our courts and, like everything, I have agreed to submit myself to the hearings in the courts as a good citizen,” he explained.

President Banda also hoped that the regime in Zambia will allow him to travel to South Africa to attend the 2013 African Presidential Roundtable where he has been invited by the Boston University African Presidential Centre.

Banda becomes the second former president in Zambia have his immunity from prosecution lifted after Frederick Chiluba whose immunity was lifted in 2002. Chiluba was the first Head of State in Commonwealth since 2011 to have his immunity lifted.